TechDraw Workbench

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TechDraw workbench icon

Introduction

The Workbench TechDraw.svg TechDraw Workbench is used to produce basic technical drawings from 3D models created with another workbench such as Part, PartDesign, or Arch, or imported from other applications. Each drawing is a Page, which can contain various Views of drawable objects such as Part::Features, PartDesign::Bodies, App::Part groups, and Document Object groups. The resulting drawings can be used for things like documentation, manufacturing instructions, contracts, permits, etc.

Dimensions, sections, hatched areas, annotations, and SVG symbols can be added to the page, which can be further exported to different formats like DXF, SVG, and PDF.

TechDraw was officially included in FreeCAD starting with version 0.17; it is intended to replace the unsupported Drawing Workbench. The Drawing Workbench is still provided in v0.20, but will not be available in future releases (version 1.0 and above). To keep up with TechDraw plans and developments, visit the TechDraw Roadmap.

If your primary goal is the production of complex 2D drawings and DXF files, and you don't need 3D modelling, FreeCAD may not be the right choice for you. You may wish to consider a dedicated software program for technical drafting instead, such as LibreCAD or QCad.

TechDraw Workbench Example.png

Pages

These are tools for creating Page objects.

Views

These are tools for creating View objects.

  • TechDraw SectionView.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Insert Section Views:

Stacking

These are tools for changing the stacking order which controls the apparent depth of views on a page.

  • TechDraw StackTop.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Adjust Stacking Order:

Clips

These are tools to create and manage Clip objects (clipped views).

Decorations

These are tools to decorate pages or views:

Dimensions

These are tools for creating and working with Dimension objects.

Linear dimensions can be based on two points, on one line, or on two lines.

  • TechDraw HorizontalExtentDimension.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Insert Extent Dimensions:

Annotations

The annotation tools are for "marking up" a drawing with additional information.

  • TechDraw CosmeticVertex.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Add Cosmetic Vertices:
  • TechDraw FaceCenterLine.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Add Centerlines:

Extensions

These are tools to improve your TechDraw drawings.

Attributes and modifications

  • TechDraw ExtensionExtendLine.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Change Length of Cosmetic Lines or Centerlines:
  • TechDraw ExtensionPosHorizChainDimension.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Align Dimensions:
  • TechDraw ExtensionCascadeHorizDimension.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Evenly Space Dimensions:

Centerlines and threading

  • TechDraw ExtensionCircleCenterLines.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Add Centerlines:
  • TechDraw ExtensionThreadHoleSide.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Add Cosmetic Threads:
  • TechDraw ExtensionDrawCosmCircle.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Add Cosmetic Circles or Arcs:
  • TechDraw ExtensionLineParallel.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Add Cosmetic Parallel or Perpendicular Lines:

Dimensions

  • TechDraw ExtensionCreateHorizChainDimension.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Create Chain Dimensions:
  • TechDraw ExtensionCreateHorizCoordDimension.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Create Coordinate Dimensions:
  • TechDraw ExtensionCreateHorizChamferDimension.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Create Chamfer Dimensions:
  • TechDraw ExtensionInsertDiameter.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Insert Prefix:
  • TechDraw ExtensionIncreaseDecimal.svgToolbar flyout arrow blue background.svg Change Decimal Places:

Export

These are tools for exporting pages to other applications.

Additional features

Preferences

  • Preferences-techdraw.svg Preferences: preferences for the default values of the drawing page such as projection angle, colors, text sizes, and line styles.

Scripting

The TechDraw tools can be used in macros and from the Python console. For more information see:

Limitations

  • TechDraw drawings and its API are not interchangeable with the Drawing Workbench and its API. It is possible to convert Drawing Pages to TechDraw Pages using a Python script (moveViews.py).
  • It is possible to have both TechDraw and Drawing Pages in the same FreeCAD document, as each page is completely independent from each other.
  • There are minor differences in specifying editable texts in SVG templates compared to the Drawing module. In TechDraw the scaling of the SVG document affects the position of the editable text fields. See the forum discussion TechDraw templates scale for more details.
  • Do not cut, copy and paste TechDraw objects in the Tree view as this generally does not work out well.
  • Do not drag TechDraw objects in the Tree view with the mouse.

Tutorials

A "few" added lines of code result in a tool like the Macro TemplateHelper.

Video tutorials by sliptonic